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DE100 Investigating Psychology 1

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DE100 Investigating Psychology 1

1 Download6 Pages / 1,318 Words

Course Code: DE100
University: The Open University

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Country: United Kingdom

Question:
After studying this chapter you should be able to:Discuss how portrayals of violence in different media may affect human behaviourDescribe a key piece of research by Albert Bandura and colleagues into children’s imitation of violent actsOutline why findings of associations between events and behaviour do not provide conclusive evidence of cause-and-effect relationshipsOutline how and why experiments can identify causes of behaviourSummarise the findings of psychological research into the topic of media violence and behaviourOutline the policies designed to protect children from negative effects of screen violence.
 
Answer:

Introduction
Children are exposed to a wide variety of explicit content leading to the consideration of the effects of such content (Cocker et al. 2015). This essay assesses the similarities and differences between the studies conducted by Bandura et al. (1963) and Livingstone et al. (2014), on the effects of media violence in children.
Discussion
Similarities
One of the key similarities is the common evaluation of the effects of disturbing content in children. This was evident through the usage of a television recording of an adult as well as fantasy model in Bandura’s experiment, which performed the disturbing act of violence (Fikkers et al. 2016). As observed in Livingstone’s study, the research involving conductance of a survey also aimed to assess key characteristics of internet content which children found to be disturbing (Livingstone et al. 2014). The studies were also similar in their adherence of a ‘child centered approach’. The experimen by Bandura focused on the observation of the effects of media violence on children, by providing them the freedom to play as per their  wish with available toys (Anderson and Bushman 2018). As observed in Livingstone’s experiment, a child centered approach was evident in which the responses written by the child subjects were hidden from researchers and parents, without the presence of any adult influence (Livingstone et al. 2014). Another similarity was the type of populations studied, which included children. Another similarity observed is the presence of participant blinding. Blinding is an essential technique of avoiding participant exposure and awareness of the rationale behind an experiment for the removal of participant bias and errors (Redaelli et al. 2018). In the experiment performed by Bandura, the children were kept unaware that their actions were being observed, evident by the usage of a one way mirror by the researchers for the purpose of observation (Anderson and Bushman 2018). In the survey performed by Livingstone, the children were asked to hide their responses in an envelope, which were also kept hidden from adults such as parents and researches (Livingstone et al. 2014).
 
Differences
One of key differences in the nature of research design utilized in both the studies. The conductance of Bandura’s experiment involved an experimental study, as evident from the observation of violence and aggression in children as a response to three distinct experimental setups outlining projection of violent behavior (Fickers et al. 2016). The experiment conducted by Livingstone was qualitative and observational in nature, as evident from the usage of a survey assessing children’s views on what they view as ‘disturbing content’ in the internet (Livingstone et al. 2014). The type of variables assessed also form a key distinction between the two assessed. Bandura’s experiment focused specifically on the effect of media violence on children. Livingstone on the other hand, focused broadly on the perceptions of disturbing content over the internet, of which, media violence was evaluated as one of the any coded outcomes of the survey (Livingstone et al. 2014).  Both the experiments were distinct in the age group of the children involved. Bandura studied mainly preschool and primary school children within the age group of 3 to 6 years (Fitzpatrick et al. 2016).
The experiment by Livingstone, surveyed older children as well as adolescents within the age group of 9 to 16 years (Livingstone et al. 2014). While both the experiments outlined a similarity of effects of disturbing content such as media violence in children, differences in characteristics of the subject groups suggest the lack of similarity in practical application of the results obtained, since children and adolescents posses varied needs and interest as per their age distinctions. The sample size was also a major distinguishing feature of both the experiments. Bandura’s experiment utilized a total of 96 children whereas Livingstone’s research involved a total of 10, 000 children as the chosen subject group (Livingstone et al. 2014). This is a major distinguishing factor since large sample size reflects greater validity of results obtained, due to its similarity to the population, hence adding a major advantage to Livingstone’s experiment. However, a large sample size increases susceptibility of heterogeneity, greater generalization and increase presence of experimental error due to the lack of control over confounding variables (Emerson 2015). This is a major difference observed between the two studies, since the smaller sample size by Bandura led to successful management of confounding variables of aggression and gender of the children as well as the model, whereas Livingstone’s experiment yielded a wide variation of responses, based on the gender as well as the racial profile of the children (Livingstone et al. 2014). Lastly, an additional distinction between the two studies is the time span associated with the outcomes. While Bandura assessed the immediate short term effects of media violence on children, Livingstone’s survey assessed long term children’s perceptions of disturbing content such as violence, which had accumulated overtime (Livingstone et al. 2014). While Bandura’s experiment was one of the first of its kind evaluating the effect of media violence during a time when television viewing was gaining popularity, Livingstone’s survey assessed internet content, and hence, was reflective of the today’s technological scenario of increased virtual media exposure (Livingstone et al. 2014). In order to produce conclusive and valid findings, a research must not only focus on short term as well as long term evaluation, but must also produce a thesis statement relative to the current situation or scenario (Leung 2015). While both experiments successfully adhered to research methodologies relevant to the question, there were key distinctions in the nature of time commencing from the evaluation of the results.
Conclusion
It can be concluded that, despite the presence of similarities, the studies performed by Bandura and Livingstone also possess key differences. We must consider results obtained from both due to the varied scenarios evaluated. Parents as well as early childhood and educational policy makers must consider results from both studies in their attempts to reduce harmful  effects  of  media  violence  during formulation of new frameworks or programs.
 
References
Anderson, C.A. and Bushman, B.J., 2018. Media Violence and the General Aggression Model. Journal of Social Issues, 74(2), pp.386-413.
Coker, T.R., Elliott, M.N., Schwebel, D.C., Windle, M., Toomey, S.L., Tortolero, S.R., Hertz, M.F., Peskin, M.F. and Schuster, M.A., 2015. Media violence exposure and physical aggression in fifth-grade children. Academic pediatrics, 15(1), pp.82-88.
Emerson, R.W., 2015. Convenience sampling, random sampling, and snowball sampling: How does sampling affect the validity of research?. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 109(2), pp.164-168.
Fikkers, K.M., Piotrowski, J.T., Lugtig, P. and Valkenburg, P.M., 2016. The role of perceived peer norms in the relationship between media violence exposure and adolescents’ aggression. Media Psychology, 19(1), pp.4-26.
Fitzpatrick, C., Oghia, M.J., Melki, J. and Pagani, L.S., 2016. Early childhood exposure to media violence: What parents and policymakers ought to know. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 6(1), pp.1-6.                                                    
Leung, L., 2015. Validity, reliability, and generalizability in qualitative research. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 4(3), p.324.
Livingstone, S., Kirwall, L., Ponte, C. and Staksrud, E. (2014) ‘In their own words: what bothers children online?’, European Journal of Communication, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 271-288
Redaelli, M.B., Belletti, A., Monti, G., Lembo, R., Ortalda, A., Landoni, G. and Bellomo, R., 2018. The impact of non-blinding in critical care medicine trials. Journal of critical care, 48, pp.414-417

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